This month the Brewery is featuring a local artist who creates sculptures using metal.
Many of Mark Witteveen’s pieces show fish or fishy scenes, like salmon with speckled backs swimming through rivers with shades of blue and green.
Welding is one of his techniques.
Witteveen says he began welding for more technical purposes, and eventually transitioned to creating art.
But he doesn’t always work with heat. He says metal shaping is his “bread and butter.”
“You use a lot of different hammers and actually make sheet metal thicker and thinner, which adds kinda that third dimension which really makes the art stand out and kinda separates what I do from what a lot of people do.”
Witteveen says it can be a challenge to find some of the tools he needs, and he’s ended up making some himself.
“Metal shaping really was developed in the coach building days, so the ‘20s and ‘30s making cars, and really got up and going in World War II making airplanes and, since then, manufacturing has become more automated, and they just stamp out sheet metal. So, all the tools have kind of disappeared over the years.”
The brewery will feature Witteveen through the month of August.
Venues throughout the state have displayed his work.
This summer he finished installations in both Nome and Kenai. He says next he’s headed next to Bethel to explore a potential project there.